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JohnyCanuck's Journal
Posted by JohnyCanuck in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Dec 10th 2010, 09:32 PM
Some pigs are more equal than others
By Gerry Caplan

snip

There are more filthy rich folks now than at any other moment in history and they're leveraging their astounding wealth to make sure they get filthier at the expense of the rest of us. For about three decades after the Second World War, however halfheartedly, most countries in the Western world shared a consensus to reduce the most blatant inequalities within society. But a spectacularly successful conservative counter-revolution has reversed this brief spurt of decency, making many countries, not least the ABC gang -- America, Britain and Canada -- more unequal than they've been since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

This phenomenon, completely unanticipated by my generation, is finally being noticed in all three countries. In the United States, for example, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson have written Winner-Take-All-Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned its Back on the Middle Class. You have to admire a book whose entire thesis is encompassed by its title and you have to give thanks that at least some academics are still earning their salaries.

Profs. Hacker and Pierson wonder "how hedge fund managers who are pulling down billions sometimes pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries," or even their chauffeurs. The answer is as obvious as a tax form. In the United States both Democrats and Republicans woo the ultra-rich with tax policies that privilege them in the most blatant ways.

snip

The magnitude of the present inequality is truly mind-boggling -- and growing. In the United States from 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in incomes went to the richest 1 per cent of the population, all of whom will benefit from the newly extended tax cuts. Canada, of course, is far more egalitarian. In a new study for the indispensable Canada Centre for Policy Alternatives, economist Armine Yalnizyan found that in the past decade only one-third of all economic growth went to the top 1 per cent.

http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/gerry-...
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